By Richard HuiDecember 17, 2018
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (December 17, 2018) - As most of us know, the process of packing equipment for a deployment can get hectic. Everything needs to be accounted for, consolidated and shipped out. Trying to coordinate through it all has its difficulties, but, be that as it may, the pre-deployment tasks still need to be completed. Toward the end, we all hope for a little more downtime with our families and friends before we begin our deployment rotation.
My unit was in full swing with pre-deployment operations. On this particular day, we had to move two tents worth of work stands, trailers and a lot of random ground support equipment about 150 meters from one location to another. Every available body in our company gathered, ready to execute. It was a simple task and only a short distance to go. No problem, right?
We positioned some trucks and started piling equipment in the back of them. The operation was very organized and we were moving faster than anticipated. We had a large group of movers loading trucks, drivers moving equipment and receivers arranging it. Battle buddies were on the fast track, moving all over the place when it happened - "That Guy" appeared. You know That Guy; he's the one you never want to be.
It was time to move an axle from a disassembled trailer. We were lifting the front axle, wheels, tires and steering bar as we walked out of the tent and toward the back of the truck. Once we set the axle down, we immediately pushed it toward the front of the truck to clear the tailgate. The wheels tilted and That Guy was still holding on to the steering strut. Suddenly, he found both of his hands pinched between the steering strut and axle housing.
He let out a loud, "Ahhhhhhhh!" We immediately stopped pushing and watched as he tried to pull both hands free. He frantically swung his head, upper body and shoulders back and forth trying to get his hands loose, but without success. Someone shouted, "Back up!" and we tilted the axle back so he was able to get free. Luckily, he didn't break any bones and escaped with only minor scratches and bruises.
Even though this incident resulted in only minor injuries, it could have been worse. Looking back now, had the Soldier maintained situational awareness of where he placed his hands, this accident could have been prevented. My advice to fellow Soldiers is when assigned a task, try not to overthink it - even a task as simple as moving equipment from one spot to another.
Did You Know?
Equipment training guides assist operators in becoming more familiar with the safety and operational aspects of their assigned vehicles. To access vehicle and ground equipment training guides, check out the USACRC's Driver's Training Toolbox at https://safety.army.mil/ON-DUTY/Drivers-Training-Toolbox. Having a thorough understanding of the operational application of assigned equipment will enable personnel and equipment to be postured safely.
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